The level of unemployment has doubled in a North-east area in a year.
The number of benefit claimants in Kincardine and Mearns stood at 1.3% in March 2016, just over double the rate of 0.6% in March 2015. This compares with Aberdeenshire’s 1.5%.
The highest rate in the area was 1.4% in Stonehaven and Lower Deeside and the lowest 1.2% in the Mearns.
Aberdeenshire has the seventh lowest rate of unemployment for Scotland’s local authority areas.
A report looking at the economic activity in the area went in front of Kincardine and Mearns area committee.
Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services, said: “In economic terms, Kincardine and Mearns is closely linked to Aberdeen, particularly in the north area and is similarly influenced by the oil and gas sector. In the south, there is more traditional rural economy.
“In recent time, economic concerns have included the impact of cuts in welfare and public services, high levels of business rates relative to the generally poor economic conditions and reduced consumer activity.
“The impact of the low oil price remains a significant concern.
“While interest rates remain at historic lows, businesses continue to experience difficulties in raising finance although recent indications are that conditions for mortgage finance are improving.
“Other concerns included the impact of the above factors on town centres.”
He added the recent Brexit vote was likely to have a “significant impact” on the area.